FOLLY BEACH — Just three days into the beach season a teenager died in an apparent drowning Wednesday afternoon while swimming near the Washout on Folly Beach, authorities said.
Charleston County Chief Deputy Coroner Judy Koelpin identified the swimmer as Derrick Grant, 16, of Moncks Corner.
It is the first drowning of the year for this island city.
"I hope it's the last," said Terry Boatwright, interim public safety director.
Grant's friends saw him go under the surface of the water at about 2 p.m. One friend grabbed his hand but lost his grip, Boatwright said.
It wasn't clear why Grant failed to resurface. The risk for rip currents was low in the area today, according to the National Weather Service in Charleston.
Police, firefighters and beachgoers formed a human chain to search the
the water and found the man dead about 50 minutes later in 7 feet of water about 25 yards from shore, Boatwright said.
Three other swimmers apparently drowned Monday while swimming in South Carolina.
Anthony Davon Holmes, 19, disappeared in the water off Hilton Head Island in the afternoon on Memorial Day.
About the same time, 18-year-old Jose Guadalope Rodriguez Vigil went under off Pawleys Island, authorities said.
Crissa Powell, 11, was under water for about 15 minutes in Lake Hartwell after she jumped off a dock.
She was rescued, but died Tuesday at a Greenville Hospital, Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis said.
Boatwright, a major with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, has served as interim public safety director since January.